Source: The Herald – Breaking news.
Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS should continue shouldering the responsibility of developing, modernising and industrialising their country and 2024 is a promising year of further economic growth and development, President Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking at the burial of the late national hero Colonel (Retired) Kenny Ridzai Mabuya at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, President Mnangagwa said it was important that Zimbabweans partake in the country’s current development momentum for universal progress that leaves no one and no place behind.
He said there was need for the country to stay alert and up the ante in employing strategies to counter recent phenomena such as climate change.
“2024 is promising to be a year of further growth and development. We must, however, stay alert and scale up our strategies in climate change adaptation and mitigation as we build greater resilience, right from the household level.
“Individually and collectively, we shoulder the responsibility to develop, modernise and industrialise our country.
“Through our efforts, all Zimbabweans should work harder to occupy our niche in the global arena. Let us believe in ourselves and continue the development momentum witnessed under the Second Republic. We must never tire, but keep pushing forward,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the country’s peace, unity, independence and sovereignty should be defended by all means, as that was the solid foundation upon which Zimbabwe would continue to prosper.
This independence and peace, he said, had been brought by the sheer determination of gallant sons and daughters such as Col Mabuya.
“I call upon all Zimbabweans to treasure and defend our peace, unity, independence and sovereignty,” he said.
“The challenge is now with us, to consistently draw from this selfless and rich national character as we advance our national development agenda.
“We started the struggle with only the willpower and resolve to liberate our country against an established brutal and racist enemy. The settler regime was supported overtly and covertly by powerful countries.
“However, with the determination of many cadres such as the late National Hero, Cde Mabuya, we triumphed against the enemy. We conquered colonialism and now stand tall as a free and independent people,” he said.
He also urged the general citizenry to exercise the highest degree of hygiene as Government continues to make efforts to ensure the outbreak is decisively dealt with.
“On the health front, the cholera outbreak has taught us many lessons, especially the need for a Whole of Government and Society approach to our national development agenda.
“Interventions are being made to improve access to clean water, overall hygiene and waste disposal. My Government has procured and received donations of vaccines as well as other medical equipment and pharmaceuticals required to combat the disease.
“I call upon all our communities to remain on high alert and to practise good hygiene,” he said.
The President charged Zimbabweans to foster a spirit of inclusivity, tolerance and love as the country continues to march towards sustained prosperity.
To this end, he said his administration was addressing the Gukurahundi disturbances as the Second Republic continues to drive efforts to ensure those affected find closure and healing.
In addition, the President said Government would see to it that all the country’s 10 provinces experience development and prosperity.
“Presently, the Second Republic is driving the efforts to find closure and healing for the scars from the disturbances that characterised the early years of our independence.
“Through various mechanisms, including initiatives led by our traditional leaders and communities, we are addressing the Gukurahundi matter.
“Emboldened by the fact that we are one people strengthened by our diversity and the spirit of love, inclusivity and tolerance, we continue to march towards sustainable, social and economic stability and prosperity.
“Further guided by our mantra; ‘leaving no one and no place behind’, my Administration is ensuring that all provinces and districts, experience shared national development and prosperity,” said the Head of State and Government.
President Mnangagwa said the sacrifices that were made by liberation war stalwarts such as Col Mabuya would forever remain part of Zimbabwe’s identity.
He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Mabuya family while describing Col Mabuya as a trustworthy, dependable and loyal cadre, whose contribution would forever be etched in the hearts of Zimbabweans.
“The supreme sacrifice and blood of the many sons and daughters of Zimbabwe is part of our identity as an independent and sovereign people.
“As the head of both the civil and military wing of ZANU, where I was deputised by Cde Vitalis Musungwa Gava Zvinavashe, the late Cde Kenny Ridzai was number three.
“Later, when I was the Minister Responsible for State Security, I also closely worked with Cde Kenny Ridzai. He was a trustworthy, dependable and loyal cadre who helped to shape our intelligence and security apparatus during the liberation struggle and in the post-independence era. We have indeed lost one of our country’s long-time intelligence-supremos.
“Today, we therefore, inter him alongside other luminaries at this sacred National Heroes Shrine. On behalf of the revolutionary party, Zanu PF, the people and Government of Zimbabwe, my family and indeed myself, I once again express heartfelt condolences to the bereaved Mabuya family for this sad loss.
“The nation mourns with you, the loss is ours together. He will be solemnly missed by all of us. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace,” he said.
The President said Cde Mabuya’s death was not only a huge loss to his family, but to the nation at large.
He went on to describe him as an unflinching patriot, hardworking, intelligent, humble and forthright liberation war hero.
“Our national hero, who joined our fight against settler colonialism at a tender age, distinguished himself as a brave, fearless and dedicated cadre. He passed on at the West End Hospital in Harare on Tuesday January 23, 2024.
“In the late National Hero, Cde Mabuya, the nation has lost an unflinching patriot, hardworking, intelligent, humble, forthright and dependable cadre and stalwart of our liberation struggle. He saw beyond tribes and regional origins, always focused on the grand national objective of a liberated and prosperous, Zimbabwe.
“He was one of those who dared the colonial regime head-on and contributed to the formation of a credible and effective armed wing of our liberation movement, which dismantled the military capabilities of our former oppressors,” he said.
President Mnangagwa went on to chronicle the birth of Col Mabuya’s political consciousness.
“I challenge parents to take a leaf from this history and nurture the sense of self-belief and national pride among our children and young people.
“In 1969, Kenny skipped school, while in Form 2 and went to the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) offices in Lusaka and offered to join the liberation struggle. After being received and shortlisted, he was taken to the famous House Number 93 in Lusaka, where the late national hero Cde Josiah Magama Tongogara resided.
“Cde Mabuya was not deterred by the limitation of language or his up-bringing away from his motherland. It was this inclusive spirit and endearing spirit of identity of comrades such as the late national hero and many others, which saw the national liberation struggle transcending the narrow boundaries of ethnicity, tribalism and regionalism,” said President Mnangagwa.
He added: “In 1969 the youthful Kenny and other recruits left Lusaka for Itumbi Training Camp in the United Republic of Tanzania for military training, under the tutorship of military instructors from the People’s Republic of China, who were assisted by Cde Chimedza and Cde Kashiri. On completion of military training, together with his colleagues such as the late national hero Cde Vhuu he was deployed to Mozambique and received by Comrades Mayor Urimbo, Chauke, Tongogara, Chinamaropa, Chimurenga and others who had already negotiated with FRELIMO for passage into the then Rhodesia.”
President Mnangagwa described Cde Mabuya as a tenacious cadre whose commitment to duty was unmatched even in the face of injury.
“Later, under the command of our national heroes, such as Comrades Rex Nhongo, Tungamirai and Dauramanzi, they transited through Chifombo, a zone close to the borders of Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Contact and exchange of fire were imminent even in Mozambican territory, as Portuguese soldiers worked in cahoots with the white colonial settler regime in Zimbabwe. This saw FRELIMO and the ZANLA forces fighting side by side against a common enemy. They fought in several battles that included fatal engagements with the enemy.
“At some point, our late national hero, Cde Mabuya, suffered injuries following an intense battle with the enemy. While recovering, he would seek sanctuary for close to a year at Chief Makuni’s homestead.
“Instead of quitting the liberation struggle, Cde Mabuya chose to be re-deployed in the Centenary area, where they opened the Bakasa area to freedom fighters. In 1974 he was put in charge of recruits and was later moved to Mboroma Camp and assigned to be in charge of security,” chronicled the President.
President Mnangagwa also divulged that Col Mabuya had served under him during the President’s tenure as head of the Zanu Security Department.
“At the 1977 Chimoio Congress, I was appointed to head the ZANU Security Department, deputised by Cde Vitalis Musungwa Gava Zvinavashe. In recognition of the excellent leadership qualities exhibited by the late Cde Kenny Ridzai Mabuya, he was appointed to deputise Cde Zvinavashe, as a member of the High Command.
“Thereafter, he went to the People’s Republic of China for further training in intelligence and security. On his return, he became intricately involved in the intelligence infrastructure that saw the successful execution of the liberation struggle.
“In 1979, the late national hero was part of the advance security team I led for the Lancaster House Talks. Following the attainment of our independence, Cde Mabuya was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 and commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant in 1982. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. After an illustrious service in the Defence Forces, he retired in 1994.
“The senior officer held challenging appointments that included being Commanding Officer of the Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps. For his dedication, selfless service, leadership and bravery, Cde Mabuya was awarded the Liberation Medal; Independence Medal; Ten Years’ Service Medal; and the Mozambican Campaign Medal,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa also apprised the nation on the successes that the country continues to register under the engagement and re-engagement foreign policy, most recently during his trip to Italy where he attended the Italy-Africa Summit.
“Stronger bilateral relations, through our ongoing Engagement and Re-engagement Policy, are providing opportunities for us to leverage on our comparative advantages at the global level.
“Only last night, I returned from the Italy-Africa Summit as we consolidate existing relations, mend broken ties and open new frontiers for win-win partnerships for the benefit and prosperity of our people and motherland, Zimbabwe,” he said.